Abraham Ford settles into work with the construction crew, headed off by Tobin, seemingly one of the only hardened men in the ranks of the Alexandria Safe-Zone community. Tobin reveals to him that there is a feeling of strong cynicism in keeping with the survivors general consensus that there is a 'fakeness' about the Alexandria Safe-Zone. In particular, Tobin expresses a leering distrust of Douglas Monroe, from his interview process to his placement of 'pretty girls' in positions that allow him to see them on regular occasions. The work crew is attacked by a group of zombies. Tobin tells everyone to stay in "formation" but Abraham breaks off to save a woman named Holly, this bravery and skill impresses some of the work crew. Ford angrily condemned the idea that they had to allow some to die in order to save the larger group. So Abraham spurs the group to work quickly after the attack and put up more walls before more walkers swarm the area.
Later that day, Tobin discussed a change in leadership with Douglas, in which Tobin revealed that he felt very cowardly for allowing others to die and feels strongly that Abraham has earned the right to lead the work crew. Meanwhile, Morgan and Michonne's brief tryst lead to a certain regret for both parties. Morgan felt of himself as an adulterer, and Michonne felt as though he was too heavily burdened by this and many other ill-conceived principles. Elsewhere, Carl bitterly reminisced Lori's motherly love while Rick attempted to unsuccessfully comfort him. During this time, Glenn successfully put Rick's plan of re-acquiring the survivors weapons into action, by infiltrating the armory during the party, and stealing back their guns.
Glenn and Heath head into Washington, D.C. to scavenge for more supplies, especially antibiotics to help Scott. Their trek into the city is a little rough and they are disappointed to find that the alley Heath typically uses is full of walkers. Rick expresses his concerns about Peter Anderson to Michonne and she encourages him to do something about it. Gabriel Stokes continues to struggle with guilt and continues to cry, pray and ask the Lord for guidance.
Fr. Gabriel approaches Douglas to try and convince Douglas to expel Rick and his group from the compound. He tells Douglas that they are not good people and that they did horrible things before reaching the safety of Alexandria. Douglas turns him away, saying that everyone did what they had to so they could survive, and that Gabriel should mind his own business.
Heath and Glenn continue to wait for the walkers to clear out of the roadway, spending the night on top of a building in hopes that they will clear out by morning. Unfortunately, the road is still overrun in the morning and they look on in horror as a group containing men and one woman emerge from a building and push one of their own into the zombie crowd in order to escape.
Rick finds Pete sleeping on the porch of his house and becomes increasingly suspicious that all is not well in their household. After speaking with Michonne, Rick approaches Pete's wife, Jessie, to find out if there is domestic abuse happening. Jessie confirms that Pete has been changing and has become increasingly violent. When Rick brings this information to Douglas he is reluctant to act on it because Pete is a doctor. Rick and Douglas argue and Rick storms off to confront Pete. The confrontation dissolves into violence. Douglas tries to intervene but Rick pulls a gun on him. Michonne hits Rick over the head and Rick realizes that he is out of control.
In Washington, D.C. with the gang (that Glenn and Heath previously saw) hearing the motorcycle engines of Glenn and Heath as they leave for the Alexandria Safe-Zone.
Michonne asks Maggie to keep Carl for the night as Rick has been detained for confronting Pete about abusing his wife and son. Rick has a long talk with Douglas. Douglas explains who Alexander Davidson was and how he was forced to expel him from the community, virtually sentencing Davidson to death. He warns Rick not to make him make the same decision again. Rick confesses that he has never wanted to be a leader. He tells Douglas about what happened with Shane outside of Atlanta and that Carl killed Shane to save him after Shane became angry that he was losing Lori to Rick. Andrea heads out for her first day at the bell tower. Rick is released by Douglas and goes to see Carl. Carl is angry that Rick left him alone again and dismisses his father. Douglas tells Rick that he may carry a weapon inside the compound and that he trusts Rick to do whatever it takes to keep the community safe. He tells Rick to feel free to break the rules in order to keep everyone safe but never to question his authority again. Michonne tells Rick to get himself together and Rick goes home to sleep.
After Carl walks in on Rick talking to Lori on his phone, Rick tries to explain to Carl why he has the phone and talks to Lori. Despite the antibiotics that Glenn and Heath salvaged from a pharmacy, Scott dies from his injuries. His body is dragged out while Michonne hammers a large nail through his head so he will not reanimate. Glenn argues with Maggie about that they are not having sex. Maggie explains she is still coming to terms with her attempted suicide. Andrea goes on a date with Douglas Monroe's son, Spencer Monroe, but is unable to kiss the Spencer because of memories of deceased Dale. As they are having dinner they see Pete Anderson walk by with a knife. Pete interrupts arguments with Douglas and Heath over whether Scott should have a funeral. Pete threatens to kill Rick. Regina Monroe, Douglas Monroe's wife, gets between the two men and Pete slashes Regina's throat. Rick pulls his gun then gets permission from Douglas to kill Pete for what he has done.
The next issue opens with a group of scavengers fighting off zombies. They are discussing their plans to go the Alexandria Safe-Zone. They decide to settle in for the night, and attack the next day. Back in the Safe-Zone, a gunshot is heard, and Glenn has an argument with Maggie on whether or not he needs to leave and see what the problem is. Glenn then meets up with Morgan, who is also going to see what happened. They meet with the community to see Rick, and other members telling them to go back to their homes. He announces the situation is under control and that what occurred was a police matter. Rick goes to Jessie Anderson's residence and talks to her. She reveals that she is relieved by Pete's death. Rick then asks Douglas to have a funeral for Pete, which Douglas isn't too happy about. Rick has a conversation with Andrea next, asking her if she will attend the funeral. She tells Rick that Tobin is going to take her to the tower, as funerals remind her of Dale. She goes on to say that she doesn't like to think about him.
Next, Heath appears at the funeral, paying tribute to Scott. The funeral is for Regina, Scott, and Pete. Father Gabriel Stokes introduces Rick to the altar, and Rick makes a speech about how people act differently during these hard times, and does not necessarily define who they are. He says that if it were not for this situation, neither he nor Pete would have done the things that they did, and that ultimately the situation is to blame. As Rick is saying that everybody should remember Pete for what he was, a gun shot is heard. Rick and others go to the gate to see who fired the shot. It is the scavengers shown at the beginning of the issue. Rick talks to the leader of the scavengers, Derek, as Abraham and others prepare with their weapons. Derek threatens Rick saying they are dangerous and desperate people who need to be let in. Rick refuses. A sniper from the attacking group aims at Rick, threatening him with the red dot on his chest. Then, Andrea shoots the group's sniper, and kills Derek as he's drawing his gun to shoot Rick. A shootout occurs between the two groups. The Safe-Zone community win the conflict, but attract hundreds of zombies with the sound of the battle. The issue ends after the shootout, and bodies are burned. Rick speaks with Douglas. Douglas says that Rick is the leader of the community now. Douglas says he has nothing left for the community of Alexandria, and the person they really need is Rick.
The story begins with Rick looking out the front gate of the Alexandria Safe-Zone. He and Andrea talk about the recent assault to Alexandria and soon Aaron arrives, with Eric on a horse, yelling that he has been stabbed. Rick and Andrea help them finding Dr. Denise Cloyd who is with Heath, both scantily clad. Later, Heath explains to Andrea that he and the Doctor are in a relationship. While Eric is being fixed, Aaron tells Rick that an unknown woman stabbed Eric and stole their horse. Later, Aaron tries to explain about the loss of one of the horses to Maggie, but she interrupts him and forgives him anyway. He goes to talk to Douglas and discuss the decision to put Rick in control. He informs Douglas that he won't bring any more people to Alexandria. Douglas reveals that, in fact, he is afraid.
Rick tells that Eric is better and Andrea leaves so Tobin can drive her to the tower, because now is more important than ever to keep an eye on what's going on. Morgan apologizes to Michonne in response to the fact that he can't deal with his wife's death. Carl is pleased with the assault because now everyone realizes that they're still in danger. Snow begins to fall outside of the safe-zone.
Abraham rallies a group to take out the zombies outside the walls that were attracted by the gunshots from the previous shoot out. They split up into two groups to take out the zombies on both sides but, when they gather back at the front, they discover that a massive herd of the beasts have arrived. One of the zombies bites Bruce, and Abraham kills him in mercy. He and Holly dispute over this, and it ends with her forgiving him, hinting towards an affair.
Rick reunites the community and makes a speech about increasing the security. He also suggests consolidating people inside fewer houses to conserve the solar grid during the winter. Michonne invites Morgan to join her night patrol, and also removes her katana from retirement.
Rick gives Carl a new gun and later that night, Jessie and Ron go to Rick's house and ask to sleep there for one night. Ron confronts Carl about Rick killing his father and Carl admits that both he himself and his dad killed only those that they had to. Jessie admits that she admires Rick for his courage and selflessness. Rick goes on his patrol, and retires to bed afterwards. Jessie then enters his room and kisses him passionately. In the next issue, Rick answers to her kiss.
Meanwhile, Glenn has woken up but tells Maggie to go back to sleep. Also Michonne and Morgan are awake, and Morgan says he deserves to be happy. Michonne becomes insulting and says he's not the only one who has lost somebody. She tells him how Tyreese died, and says it is horrible that Duane died. She goes get some water and tells him he has to move on.
Rick and Jessie have sex, and Rick leaves her to sleep. Rick tells her Ron didn't hear, and goes away. He goes by his room, where the phone he's been talking is. He says "Lori... You're not even real", and leaves.
Outside, Rick discovers the fence is giving up. Zombies are trying to get in. Tobin is holding the fence, and Rick tries to think what to do. Glenn says he, Heath and Spencer Monroe are going to look over Andrea, who needs supplies, like water. At the journey they could also treat some zombies away from the fences.
Glenn's group successfully lands in to building's roof, where Andrea is. The fence is giving up, and zombies get in. Tobin tells Holly to get some people, when he keeps them off. Holly runs to Rick's apartment, and tells them that they gotten in. Rick tells Jessie and others to stay there, and tells Holly to get some other survivors. Rick runs for Tobin; only to discover he's been entirely eaten by zombies. Morgan comes to help Rick, and he asks where are others. Morgan doesn't know, and notes there's too many of them. Suddenly, Morgan gets bitten in the arm, and falls down.
In next issue, Issue 82, Rick forces Morgan to get on his feet. He gets, and Michonne arrives to the place. Rick tells her they have to take his arm off, and Michonne cuts it off instantly. Morgan is about to black out, and Abraham with a group of survivors arrives to help them. Abraham tells them to get Morgan to safety, and Rick tells that they have to get him to Rick's house.
Glenn, Andrea, Heath, and Spencer notice the zombies pouring into the town, and Glenn comes to the realization out loud that they are doomed. Abraham and the rest start killing off the zombies, and realize with horror that there are not enough people and too many zombies.
Denise patches up an unconscious Morgan's shoulder where he lost his arm, and tells Michonne that she has done all she can and does not know if he will pull through. Michonne calls Morgan a fool and sits sorrowfully beside him.
Rick is about to walk Denise back to her place when Maggie runs into the house, holding Sophia and ordering everyone to hide and keep quiet. Rick looks outside and sees that the zombies have taken over the streets in town and are wandering around everywhere. Meanwhile, Abraham gives up trying and orders everyone to get back to their houses and hide.
Back in Rick's house, Carl is asked to stay with Morgan in case he reanimates. Morgan reveals that he knows he will die, and asks to speak with Carl before he does. He tells Carl that he watched him kill Ben. He reassures him that it was the right thing to do, and praises Carl. He tells Carl of how important this time is for him, growing up and becoming who he will be. He mistakenly calls him Duane, and then cries as Carl cautiously puts his hand on his gun.
Outside the town, Andrea tries to plan out how they will get inside the walls and save the townspeople. Spencer suggests that the two of them leave together and abandon everyone else. Andrea punches him and storms away, ending their brief friendship.
Rick decides that his group will make a run for it until they are outside the walls. Jessie doesn't want to leave the rest of the townspeople behind, but Rick assures her they will think of a way to help everyone else once they are out, but for now, they had to think of themselves and their children first.
Michonne sits beside Morgan and apologizes for being so harsh about his difficulty getting over the deaths of his family. She reveals that she cannot open up to people, and locks her emotions away. She tells him how much she cares for him, and asks her to forgive him, but after no response from Morgan, she realizes that he is dead.
Before the group can get packed up, Maggie tells him that she and Sophia are staying behind, because they'll have a better chance for survival. Rick gets an idea to make the escape safer, and pulls in a zombie from outside.
Andrea decides that her group will lure the zombies away from the walls until they're thinned out. Michonne kills Morgan again to keep him from reanimating, and joins the rest downstairs to tell them. Rick starts to chop the zombie to pieces and explains that it will keep them unnoticed because of the smell. Denise refuses to rub the body on herself, so Michonne goes with her to defend her from the roamers. Rick, Jessie, Carl and Ron, covered in the dead flesh, walk through the crowd of roamers while holding hands. Meanwhile, Douglas steps out of his house with a gun, planning to commit suicide.
On the way through the crowd, Ron panics and draws the attention of a roamer who bites him. Rick orders Jessie to leave him, but she refuses and the zombies overwhelm her as well. Rick turns away while Jessie screams and begs him not to leave her. Rick hesitates, but only after he realizes that she won't let go of Carl's hand. He chops her hand off with his axe and he and Carl run away. Michonne leaves Denise and runs to kill some of the excited dead. Douglas decides to help by shooting them. Rick warns him to stop and Denise runs to safety in her house. Douglas is bitten and he begins firing the gun at random until he dies. Rick looks around and sees that Carl has been shot in the face. He collapses and a horrified Rick picks him up and runs for Denise's house.
Denise answers the door and Rick pleads for her to save him. After leaving him there, he runs back out with more energy than ever and he and Michonne continue killing off the dead.
While still in hiding, Abraham, Rosita, Eugene, Aaron, Eric, and others see Rick and Michonne trying to fight off the frenzy and they all decide to go help. With all the help, the fight turns into a battle and the zombies begin to thin out more and more until there are only a few stragglers, to the amazement of everyone. Although exhausted, the town continues to kill them off. Andrea and Glenn make it to the opening in the wall and are stunned by everyone's success.
Rick sits down beside an unconscious Carl after it all and explains to him what he has realized, that the dead aren't much of a threat when there are so many people working as a team, who can prepare and organize like they did today. He tells Carl that he has discovered a chance for hope after all this time, and that he feels as though they are in a new world. He then pleads for Carl to wake up and experience this new world with him.